Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Lestari Moerdijat encouraged citizens to apply the healthy lifestyle movement early because improving the young generation's health is a strategic step to increase the nation's competitiveness.

"Public understanding on the importance of a healthy lifestyle from an early age must continue to be bolstered, so that the awareness to create a strong and resilient generation continues to grow," Moerdijat said in a statement received here on Sunday.

She mentioned that data from the 2023 Indonesian Health Survey showed that new smokers on average started smoking at school age, or 10-19 years old.

She said that the Health Ministry's data showed that the prevalence of smokers aged 10-18 years had decreased to 7.4 percent.

However, this figure is still high compared to the new smokers' prevalence reduction target in the 2024-2029 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), which is 5.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the new smokers' prevalence rate a decade ago was 7.2 percent.

Moerdijat said that in responding to the high prevalence rate, concrete steps must be taken so that the reduction targets that have been set can be realized.

She explained that good habits of living a healthy life must start in the family environment.

Therefore, she hoped that parents can educate their children about healthy living, and eventually it becomes the part of their daily lives.

"The support of all parties is needed so that the encouragement to live a healthy lifestyle can take place massively," she said.

She added that good examples from stakeholders and public figures are necessary in building healthy living awareness.

She also reminded stakeholders to accelerate development plans related to public health to realize healthy citizens.

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Translator: Nadia R, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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